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Onirik – Casket Dream Veneration

Casket Dream Veneration
by Erika Kuenstler at 05 October 2015, 12:17 PM

Portuguese one-man project ONIRIK is a bit of an oddity in the music scene, purportedly only creating music exclusively for his own delectation. Nevertheless, the music has still reached the light of day, having been recorded and publicised, from the first demo in 2003 right up until this year, with the release of his fourth full-length album “Casket Dream Veneration” later this month. Joined by session musicians on drums and bass, Gonius Rex has hatched a concept album revolving around his dreams, which even includes verses from The Book of Lucifer which he claims was “used solely under blasphemic and evocative purposes”.

A discordant and jarring onslaught ambushes you within seconds of pressing play. The opening song of the album is fittingly entitled “Requiem for a Profane Liberation”, and a freeing of profanity is just what it is: it really does make you want to claw out your own eardrums in an effort to make it stop. Whilst this does alleviate somewhat towards the second half of the song, it nevertheless does make getting into the album a tedious task. This is a pity, as the album does get better after this; then again, when you’re at the bottom, the only way you can go is up. One thing that must be said in favour of “Casket Dream Veneration” however is that choirs are used to give everything an interesting atmosphere, bleeding together with the guitars to create dreamy and soporific soundscapes. By the time “Reverent to the Flames” kicks in, we’ve almost forgotten the atrocity that was the first track. Almost. Whilst there are some songs like “Ascension and Descent” that are on the whole pretty alright, the disorganised and acrimonious elements chaotically thrown together throughout the majority of the album does tend to ruin it. The only song that I found completely riveting on the entire album was the closing “Versos de um Ritual”; had this been the standard throughout, “Casket Dream Veneration” could have been a much more extraordinary album.

Whilst the choral sections do add a certain unique texture to the music, this is overused to the point where it gets annoying towards the end of the album. This is a shame, as there are some really decent passages in the album that do show potential. I do admire Gonius Rex for having the courage to stray so far beyond the mundane borders of contemporary Black Metal, however there is a razor thin line between ingenuity and cacophonous nonsense, and unfortunately ONIRIK crosses this line far too often.

2 Star Rating

1. Requiem for a Profane Liberation
2. Invocation and Defiance
3. Reverent to the Flames
4. Casket Dream Veneration
5. Ascension and Descent
6. I Am Him But He's Not Me
7. Disputant by Enlightenment
8. Versos de um Ritual
Gonius Rex – Composition, Guitars, Vocals, Choirs
Soul Reaper – Drums
The Heretic – Bass
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 09 July 2020

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